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Don't be STUPID with words! PLEASE! (Page 2)
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3gg3
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Apr 13, 2005, 10:14 PM
 
Originally posted by KeriVit:
Anyone care to clear up any further stupidity?
Yeah, as my wife says, "That really P.O.s me off!"
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 14, 2005, 05:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by paul w
Courrier électronique. It's not that email woulbe "banned" it's that the Academie Française comes up with new French versions of new foreeign words, rather than just accept and assimilate them like English.

A couple examples (see if you can guess the English/International equivalent):

Ordinateur
Baladeur
Courriel (there's even a Pourriel)
Logiciel
Cédérom
Pare-feu
Téléchargement

etc...
télécharger = to download

Although there is a Frenchified word for e-mail, my French friends usually use e-mail most of the time anyway.
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esXXI
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:07 AM
 
The one that gets me: "I could care less."

It's couldn't! Couldn't y'hear! If you could care less, you care some! Rawr!

     
Goldfinger
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by Person Man
Pare-feu = I don't know
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Goldfinger
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki
"Baladeur" is a walkman.

And "mél" is parallel to German, where the English loan-word verb "mailen" means "to email". (I have to point out to German speakers now and then that in English, "mail me that file" doesn't mean to send it electronically, hehe!)
Yep, in Dutch we say "mailen" as well. "Mail me dat bestand door" = "Mail me that file".

Languages are cool.

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vexborg
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by starman
Yeah, I know, that was bad
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theolein
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín
...
My own little pet peeve (in Danish):

When people say "Det vil jeg ikke have noget med at gøre". Wrong. Word. Order. "Det vil jeg ikke have noget at gøre med" is the only acceptable form! And when people say things such as, "jeg farede vild" (jeg for vild!), or "jeg bedte ham om..." (jeg bad ham om...).

(This is of course for the sole benefit of Anders, vexborg, Erik, and the few others here who understand enough Danish to tell the difference)
Gratuitous translation by non-Danish speaking me: I want to have nothing to do with it.
( Last edited by theolein; Apr 14, 2005 at 07:03 AM. )
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theolein
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Apr 14, 2005, 07:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by paul w
Courrier électronique. It's not that email woulbe "banned" it's that the Academie Française comes up with new French versions of new foreeign words, rather than just accept and assimilate them like English.

A couple examples (see if you can guess the English/International equivalent):

Ordinateur
Baladeur
Courriel (there's even a Pourriel)
Logiciel
Cédérom
Pare-feu
Téléchargement

etc...
Since the others have been done. Baladeur = Player, as in CD-Player etc. Pare-feu was new to me, though.

Fortunately the French dislike long and complicated words as much as anyone else does and therefore have shorter slang versions of most of those, such as Ordo for Ordinateur, dd for Disque-Dur, soft for logiciel.
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Randman
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Apr 14, 2005, 07:15 AM
 
In Singapore, they've had a government-sponsored campaign urging people not to use Singlish (a mixture of English, Cantonese, Malay, Hokkien and Mandarin) as much. Except the name of the campaign was .. the Speak Good English movement. I called the campaign hotline and asked why the name wasn't the Speak English Well movement instead but couldn't get an answer from them.

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wataru
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Apr 14, 2005, 07:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by esXXI
The one that gets me: "I could care less."

It's couldn't! Couldn't y'hear! If you could care less, you care some! Rawr!

I absolutely hate that one too.

Here's a good example of redundancy from Japan. In Shizuoka prefecture there is a waterfall called 白糸の滝 (Shiraitonotaki, "White Thread Falls"). The road signs pointing in its direction had the English translation "Shiraitonotaki Falls." "Taki" means "waterfall," so that's "White Thread Falls Falls."
     
KeriVit  (op)
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Apr 14, 2005, 08:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by esXXI
The one that gets me: "I could care less."

It's couldn't! Couldn't y'hear! If you could care less, you care some! Rawr!

Yup- that one kills me to. Almost as bad as "She is fixiated with guys." Fixiated. Oh shut up!
     
Oisín
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Apr 14, 2005, 09:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Randman
In Singapore, they've had a government-sponsored campaign urging people not to use Singlish (a mixture of English, Cantonese, Malay, Hokkien and Mandarin) as much. Except the name of the campaign was .. the Speak Good English movement. I called the campaign hotline and asked why the name wasn't the Speak English Well movement instead but couldn't get an answer from them.
Or at least the Speak Proper English Campaign...

Theo: Very close. "I want nothing to do with that" (there's no real way of expressing the emphasizing topicalization of the object in English)
     
Stradlater
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Apr 14, 2005, 11:35 AM
 
PIN number is worse then RSVP please. Neither bother me too much.

What I hate is how often "definitely" is spelled "definately."

Think "finite," people!
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SSharon
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Apr 14, 2005, 11:59 AM
 
One thing that makes me laugh is when a language steals a word from another language and steals the word's silent letters with it. A great example is Lincoln. In Hebrew it is transliterated so that there is a letter that corresponds to the second 'L', the problem is that people in Israel pronounce the letter now knowing that it is silent in English. It happens to be a street name in Jerusalem so it came up frequently when I was there.

Also, most of my friends that say good instead of well really don't know that they are wrong.

Another favorite that my dad pointed out to me is the phrase "a high rate of speed" as in the nightly news saying that the car was travelling at a high rate of speed. Speed is a rate! So although you can say rate of speed its generally not what the sayer intends it to mean. Even when it is, its an accident.
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Randman
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Apr 14, 2005, 12:01 PM
 
George Carlin has a great bit about stuff like this. See if I can find in in text anywhere.

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Randman
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Apr 14, 2005, 12:05 PM
 
Found 'em, courtesy of Mr George Carlin:

Added bonus
Exactly right
Closed fist
Future potential
Inner core
Money-back guarantee
Seeing the sights
True fact
Revert back
Safe haven
Prior history
Young children
Time period
Sum total
End result
Temper tantrum
Ferry boat
Free gift
Bare naked
Combined total
Unique individual
Potential hazard
Joint cooperation
Bond together
Close proximity
ATM machine
PIN number
Co-equal
Common bond
Small minority
Serious crisis
Personal belongings
Security guard
Time clock
Foreign imports
Exact same
Continue on
Focus in
Convicted felon
Past experience
Consensus of opinion
Finished product
School teacher
Linger on

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Oisín
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Apr 14, 2005, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Randman
Found 'em, courtesy of Mr George Carlin:

Money-back guarantee, Seeing the sights, Revert back, Young children, Sum total, End result, Unique individual, Small minority, Security guard, Exact same, Convicted felon, Finished product, School teacher
How are the ones I quoted there wrong?

Money-back guarantee - A guarantee that (if a certain situation arises) your money will be returned to you. Neither word is redundant.
Seeing the sights - I know see and sight mean the same thing, basically, but that doesn't mean you can't do other things to the sights than seeing them. Neither word is redundant.
Revert back - I'll give him that revert has the meaning of 'back' incorporated in it, but if you've already reverted once and you revert again (to what you changed to before you reverted the first time), you are literally 'reverting back (again)'.
Young children - why is this even on the list? 'Children' is a wide term, it makes perfect sense to further categorise them into sub-groups, such as young children and older children.
Sum total - is the total of several different sums added together, no? It thus differs from both sum and total by themselves, doesn't it?
End result - the final result. There can be other results along the process of reaching the end result.
Unique individual - these two words do not mean the same thing. An individual is not necessarily unique (in every sense).
Small minority - same as with young children. There are small minorities, and there are also big minorities.
Security guards - not all guards are their to provide security for someone.
Exact same - exactly the opposite of 'exact opposite'. Why is this on the list?
Convicted felon - as opposed to someone who has committed a felony but has not been convicted. Is such a person not a felon?
Finished product - what? Is he trying to claim that an unfinished product isn't a product at all?
School teacher - yes, a school teacher? What's wrong with that? Does a teacher automatically teach at a school? What about private teachers, or teachers at various forms of centres (that are not technically schools)?

Mr. Carlin has some valid points in that list, but also quite a few invalid ones.
     
saltines17
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Apr 14, 2005, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Anders
...When you don´t master the language used good enough to know what you write means you look like a funny pompous ass.
well*



To your credit, I didn't know that about RSVP. I will certainly commence resentment towards the phrase "Please RSVP."

My big issue is when people use "they" or "their" when referring to singular nouns, and then my even bigger issue is when people get pissed off at me for using "his" instead of "his or her," explicitly. DIE.
     
nonhuman
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Apr 14, 2005, 03:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by saltines17
well*



To your credit, I didn't know that about RSVP. I will certainly commence resentment towards the phrase "Please RSVP."

My big issue is when people use "they" or "their" when referring to singular nouns, and then my even bigger issue is when people get pissed off at me for using "his" instead of "his or her," explicitly. DIE.
Just use 'it'. People love it when you refer to their kids as 'it'.
     
Oisín
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Apr 14, 2005, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by saltines17
My big issue is when people use "they" or "their" when referring to singular nouns, and then my even bigger issue is when people get pissed off at me for using "his" instead of "his or her," explicitly. DIE.
Well, I think you're in for a long fight, then:

Originally Posted by dictionary.com
The use of the third-person plural pronoun they to refer to a singular noun or pronoun is attested as early as 1300, and many admired writers have used they, them, themselves, and their to refer to singular nouns such as one, a person, an individual, and each. W.M. Thackeray, for example, wrote in Vanity Fair in 1848, “A person can't help their birth,” and more recent writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Anne Morrow Lindbergh have also used this construction, in sentences such as “To do a person in means to kill them,” and “When you love someone you do not love them all the time.” The practice is widespread and can be found in such mainstream publications as the Christian Science Monitor, Discover, and the Washington Post. The usage is so common in speech that it generally passes unnoticed. ·However, despite the convenience of third-person plural forms as substitutes for generic he and for structurally awkward coordinate forms like his/her, many people avoid using they to refer to a singular antecedent out of respect for the traditional grammatical rule concerning pronoun agreement. Most of the Usage Panelists reject the use of they with singular antecedents. Eighty-two percent find the sentence The typical student in the program takes about six years to complete their course work unacceptable. Thus, the writer who chooses to use they in similar contexts in writing should do so only if assured that the usage will be read as a conscious choice rather than an error. ·Interestingly, Panel members do seem to distinguish between singular nouns, such as the typical student, and pronouns that are grammatically singular but semantically plural, such as anyone and everyone. Sixty-four percent of panel members accept the sentence No one is willing to work for those wages anymore, are they? in informal speech. See Usage Note at any. See Usage Note at anyone. See Usage Note at he1. See Usage Note at she.

Word History: Incredible as it may seem, the English pronoun they is not really an English pronoun. They comes from Old Norse and is a classic example of the profound impact of that language on English: because pronouns are among the most basic elements of a language, it is rare for them to be replaced by borrowings from foreign sources. The Old Norse pronouns their, theira, theim worked their way south from the Danelaw, the region governed by the Old Norse-speaking invaders of England, and first appeared in English about 1200, gradually replacing the Old English words he, him, hora. The nominative or subject case (modern English they) seems to have spread first. William Caxton, who brought the printing press to England, uses they, hir, hem in his earlier printed works (after 1475) and thei, their, theim in his later ones. This is clear evidence of the spread of these Norse forms southward, since Caxton did not speak northern English natively (he was born in Westminster). The native English objective case of the third plural, him or hem, may well survive, at least colloquially, in modern English ’em, as in “Give ’em back!”
You could have borrowed a little more from us, such as the very handy, genderless, third person singular reflexive accusative/dative and genitive pronouns "sig" and "sin/sit" respectively (same as "sich" and "sein" in German, and also, etymologically, the same as the Romance third person singular reflexive and genitive pronouns). It makes life so much easier.

Though, perversely, one of my greatest pet peeves about Danes is when they use ham/hende and hans/hendes (him/her an his/her(s)) etc. instead of sig/sin/sit etc. The thing about sig/sin/sit is that it's reflexive in meaning, while the others are not (unlike in German, for instance).
     
budster101
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Apr 14, 2005, 03:39 PM
 
You mean, "Don't be ignorant" with words don't you?
     
saltines17
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Apr 14, 2005, 05:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín
Well, I think you're in for a long fight, then:
...
Oh, I know. I don't care. It just doesn't make sense to call "a person" "their." Sorry. Just no. Ever. No. No. NO. No. I will insist on it until I die, and even then maybe when someone is writing something and dares begin to scribble "th..." when referring to "someone," my deceased floating head will pop up and scream.

And I agree that we should use "it." I don't see why not. But for now, "his" will do.

Edit: "Most of the Usage Panelists reject the use of they with singular antecedents. Eighty-two percent find the sentence 'The typical student in the program takes about six years to complete their course work' unacceptable."

Yay!
     
Deimos
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Apr 14, 2005, 05:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by KeriVit
I know we discussed having pet peeves in the English language but this is a mix of language and it just bugs the **** out of me. If I can make ONE person not do this anymore, I will be satisfied. If I am wrong save me from my pain! Here it is:

so Why? Why? Why? do people put "Please RSVP" on their invitation.

STOP IT! I work in printing and I see this more than I care too. STOP IT!


Anyone care to clear up any further stupidity?
La shukran, akhii.

     
Oisín
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Apr 14, 2005, 05:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by saltines17
And I agree that we should use "it." I don't see why not. But for now, "his" will do.
Here we disagree completely - I cannot stand it when people use 'it' for persons (and, to a smaller extent, animals and all other things that are associated with genders). It's confusing the logical, if not the grammatical, genders just as much as using 'her' when referring to a man. "When you love a man, you do not love her all the time" anyone?
     
nonhuman
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Apr 14, 2005, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by saltines17
Oh, I know. I don't care. It just doesn't make sense to call "a person" "their." Sorry. Just no. Ever. No. No. NO. No. I will insist on it until I die, and even then maybe when someone is writing something and dares begin to scribble "th..." when referring to "someone," my deceased floating head will pop up and scream.
How can it not make sense if people have been using it for over 700 years? It's as correct as anything else.
     
Oisín
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Apr 14, 2005, 05:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman
How can it not make sense if people have been using it for over 700 years? It's as correct as anything else.
Just because something's been used for 700 years, or just because it's correct according to the Powers That Be (making the rules on correct usage of language) doesn't mean it makes sense.
     
gerbnl
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:01 PM
 
Married with children?
polygamous and paedophilic?

or
Powered by: vBulletin 3.0.7 (or whatever)
Powered? what powered? by electricity maybe, or gas, but by IBM? nonsense!
These people are Americans. Don't expect anything meaningful or... uh... normalcy...
     
nonhuman
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín
Just because something's been used for 700 years, or just because it's correct according to the Powers That Be (making the rules on correct usage of language) doesn't mean it makes sense.
Um, it does in language.

Language is only useful if it conveys meaning. If a term has been used for a significant period of time it will, if nothing else, have acquired some meaning in that time. Therefore the term makes sense even if it didn't originally.

The idea that natural languages have to hold to strict grammatical and lexical rules is what makes no sense.
     
Oisín
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by gerbnl
polygamous and paedophilic?
No, married with children, not married to children.

Or, well... it is the Bundys we're talking about here, you never know...




(Question: When pluralizing a family name that ends in a y, do you change the y to ie, or do you keep it as a y, ie. the Bundys or the Bundies? I'm a little unsure here...)
     
Oisín
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman
Um, it does in language.

Language is only useful if it conveys meaning. If a term has been used for a significant period of time it will, if nothing else, have acquired some meaning in that time. Therefore the term makes sense even if it didn't originally.
I'm not saying the people that use it can't make sense of it, but there are tons of things in languages that, if analysed, are not logical or just plain make no sense.

The idea that natural languages have to hold to strict grammatical and lexical rules is what makes no sense.
I agree completely. Natural language (ie. spoken and informal language, usually more or less kept within one sociolect or dialect) should not, and do not, hold on to strict rules. Doesn't mean people can't be conservatists, though. People have been complaining about the 'degeneration' of their language by the young for millennia, and they will most likely continue to do so as long as language exists. I have no doubts that most of the pet peeves listed in this thread will eventually become fully accepted forms/constructions - they are only pet peeves when they are in the stage where they are moving from being universally unaccepted to being universally accepted.

Written language, of course, is quite another matter, since it is not, by its very definition, a natural language. The goal of written language is to convey information as precisely and accurately as possible, without the help of body language, melody, intonation, stress, pauses, or any of the other benefits that spoken language enjoys; and as such, to be used efficiently, it must adhere more strictly to the rules and regulations governing the patterns of its make-up.

In both written and spoken language, a certain amount of deviation is tolerable and does not impede or hamper understanding too much, but too much deviation will inevitably destroy the whole purpose of language: to convey information.

[/rant]
     
E's Lil Theorem
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by MountainMac
What about "The La Brea Tar Pits"?

="The The Tar Tar Pits"

     
ghporter
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:51 PM
 
The phrase "I could care less" has a different meaning from the phrase "I couldn't care less." The first implies the possibility that there is some slight care involved, whereas the second eliminates that possibility.

My peaves include "prioritize" (a valid word but so badly misused that I ALWAYS use the phrase "assign priorities") and "administrate." "Administrate" is NOT A WORD!!!! An administrator administers, whether it's an institution of learning or a network server. This is used (abused) by supposedly intelligent people who actually administer complex systems and who should know better.

It gets worse when you start dealing with people who have a broad vocabulary, but lack the background or education to use it correctly. They use a lot of very impressive words, but not correctly or appropriately. Sometimes they get both wrong and use an impressive word that not only doesn't fit the context but is also incorrect. This behavior infuriates me, as I was raised to never use a word I did not completely understand. It's as if these people are substituting vocabulary for knowledge, and it is not a good fit.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Xeo
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín
How are the ones I quoted there wrong?

Money-back guarantee - A guarantee that (if a certain situation arises) your money will be returned to you. Neither word is redundant.
Seeing the sights - I know see and sight mean the same thing, basically, but that doesn't mean you can't do other things to the sights than seeing them. Neither word is redundant.
Revert back - I'll give him that revert has the meaning of 'back' incorporated in it, but if you've already reverted once and you revert again (to what you changed to before you reverted the first time), you are literally 'reverting back (again)'.
Young children - why is this even on the list? 'Children' is a wide term, it makes perfect sense to further categorise them into sub-groups, such as young children and older children.
Sum total - is the total of several different sums added together, no? It thus differs from both sum and total by themselves, doesn't it?
End result - the final result. There can be other results along the process of reaching the end result.
Unique individual - these two words do not mean the same thing. An individual is not necessarily unique (in every sense).
Small minority - same as with young children. There are small minorities, and there are also big minorities.
Security guards - not all guards are their to provide security for someone.
Exact same - exactly the opposite of 'exact opposite'. Why is this on the list?
Convicted felon - as opposed to someone who has committed a felony but has not been convicted. Is such a person not a felon?
Finished product - what? Is he trying to claim that an unfinished product isn't a product at all?
School teacher - yes, a school teacher? What's wrong with that? Does a teacher automatically teach at a school? What about private teachers, or teachers at various forms of centres (that are not technically schools)?

Mr. Carlin has some valid points in that list, but also quite a few invalid ones.
You have to hear the bit, I'm sure. But you make a good argument and I'd have to agree with you.
     
Oisín
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Apr 14, 2005, 06:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Xeo
You have to hear the bit, I'm sure. But you make a good argument and I'd have to agree with you.
Oh, it's a sketch? Heh, I just assumed it was from a book or article or some other written source... hehe...
     
ghporter
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Apr 14, 2005, 07:12 PM
 
No, George Carlin is primarily a stage performer-as an observer of the bizarre and confounding, he is the absolute best!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
mitchell_pgh
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Apr 14, 2005, 08:15 PM
 
It was nice knowing you blue storm 1337... see you when you are banned.
     
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Apr 14, 2005, 08:45 PM
 
While we're at it: Mac OS X 10.3.8 == "Mac OS Ten Ten.Three.Eight"
     
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Apr 14, 2005, 09:08 PM
 
My favourite is when you have to enter you PIN number into the ATM machine.
     
saltines17
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Apr 15, 2005, 12:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín
Here we disagree completely - I cannot stand it when people use 'it' for persons (and, to a smaller extent, animals and all other things that are associated with genders). It's confusing the logical, if not the grammatical, genders just as much as using 'her' when referring to a man. "When you love a man, you do not love her all the time" anyone?
I mean that I would use "it" in a case where gender does not matter, but when I say I would use it, I mean that there "shouldn't" be a reason why it's not used, more out of amusement than practicality. I generally use "him."

And I don't care if people have been doing it for 700 years... Why don't we just do that all the time then? Who cares about singular, plural, whatever? Is "Our head hurts" the same as "My head hurts"? Is "His pig sings well" the same as "Their pig are sing well"?

He = singular, and they = plural.
     
ASIMO
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Apr 15, 2005, 01:06 AM
 
"You can't have your cake and eat it, too."

Backwards.
I, ASIMO.
     
Randman
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Apr 15, 2005, 03:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín
How are the ones I quoted there wrong?

Money-back guarantee - Ok, I kinda agree with you on this one.
Seeing the sights - What else would you do at the sights? Again, a borderline choice.
Revert back - You can't revert forward.
Young children - As opposed to old children?
Sum total - Sum and total have the same meaning.
End result - End result is like final result. Either way you don't need the first word to convet the same meaning.
Unique individual - An individual is unique. Even twins.
Small minority - A large minority? Wouldn't that be the majority?
Security guards - A guard provides security (you hope)
Exact same - Exact and same have the same meaning.
Convicted felon - Felon is a legal term. You have to be convicted to be a felon.
Finished product - Again, borderline.
School teacher - A teacher teaches at a school. You wouldn't say the Prison Teacher. The street teacher.

A few of these are questionable but in most cases you can drop the first word and not change the meaning of the second at all.

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Luca Rescigno
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Apr 15, 2005, 04:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
My peaves include...
I get a little annoyed when people misspell "peeves."



Beyond that, I particularly hate the word "utilize." So far, I have NEVER seen a single case in which "utilize" is a better word than "use." It always has the exact same meaning, and therefore it sounds pointless to me. When I read or hear the word "utilize," little red flags pop up in my head that the person doesn't know what they're talking/writing about and is trying to make himself () sound important or knowledgeable. If someone knows where "utilize" is a good word to use, please let me know, because I'm convinced that it's a pox on the English language.

Oh, and a few days ago I had to fix a problem with my DNS servers

"That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" *wheeze*
     
Oisín
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Apr 15, 2005, 04:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Randman
Seeing the sights - What else would you do at the sights? Again, a borderline choice.
You could be renovating the sights, or making a list of the sights for the tourists to see... A sight (in this sense) is anything that's been deemed worthy of a visit by tourists, and as such it can refer to places, buildings, etc., with which you could do lots of things.

Revert back - You can't revert forward.
No, but if you have Configuration A, and you update it to Configuration B, and then revert to Configuration A, you could (theoretically) revert back again to Configuration B. Borderline.

Young children - As opposed to old children?
Yes, of course. Young children = children of maybe 2-4 years old; old(er) children = children of perhaps 9-11 years old or so...

Sum total - Sum and total have the same meaning.
Yes, but a sum total is the total of several different sums. Example: I'm writing my curricula at the moment (for school), and the basic layout is something like this:

Articles
Article A: 5 pages
Article B: 12 pages
Sum of articles: 17 pages

Books
Book A: 239 pages
Book B: 392 pages
Sum of books: 631 pages

Sum total: 648 pages

End result - End result is like final result. Either way you don't need the first word to convet the same meaning.
Same as with sum total - there could be other results, results of subordinated processes necessary to reach the end result. Again, it's borderline whether you'd then call the sub-results results at all.

Unique individual - An individual is unique. Even twins.
Genetically, yes. In certain other aspects (or for certain rhetoric reasons), different individuals can be grouped together as being non-unique.

Small minority - A large minority? Wouldn't that be the majority?
No. There can be only one majority, but many minorities. Example (from my incessant [though not particularly diligent] studies): China has only one majority, the Han people, but many different ethnic minorities. A large minority could be the Uyghyrs of Xinjiang, a small minority could be the Yi of Yunnan (or is it Guangxi? I'm not sure...)

Security guards - A guard provides security (you hope)
Borderline. I would still argue that a guard whose job it is to, say, make sure the Crown Jewels aren't stolen doesn't provide security (for any persons at least), and is thus not a security guard, but I may be wrong (it's like this in Danish, but I'm not sure about English).

Exact same - Exact and same have the same meaning.
No, not at all. Exact means precise, accurate, correct to the detail. Same means identical, wholly like, indistinguishable from. If two things are exactly the same, that's the semi-opposite (yeah, I know, that's not a word) of them being roughly the same.

Convicted felon - Felon is a legal term. You have to be convicted to be a felon.
That may be - my legal jargon is not too good. But felon is also a non-legal term used in daily speech, and as such, it just means criminal. From dictionary.com:

Felon
One who has committed a felony.

Felony
One of several grave crimes, such as murder, rape, or burglary, punishable by a more stringent sentence than that given for a misdemeanor.
Nothing about needing a conviction for being a felon there.

School teacher - A teacher teaches at a school. You wouldn't say the Prison Teacher. The street teacher.
Of course you would. Perhaps not prison teacher, since teachers who teach inmates normally do so in actual schools set up within the prisons; but there is definitely such a thing as a street teacher. I agree, though, that in many cases outside the school régime, other words are often preferred to teacher, such as tutor, coach or trainer.

A few of these are questionable but in most cases you can drop the first word and not change the meaning of the second at all.
I'd say in most cases you can drop the first word and only change the meaning of the second insignificantly - but for complete precision (or exactness ), you can also leave it there.
     
Oisín
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Apr 15, 2005, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno
If someone knows where "utilize" is a good word to use, please let me know, because I'm convinced that it's a pox on the English language.
Dictionary.com does (I love that site):

Usage Note: A number of critics have remarked that utilize is an unnecessary substitute for use. It is true that many occurrences of utilize could be replaced by use with no loss to anything but pretentiousness, for example, in sentences such as They utilized questionable methods in their analysis or We hope that many commuters will continue to utilize mass transit after the bridge has reopened. But utilize can mean “to find a profitable or practical use for.” Thus the sentence The teachers were unable to use the new computers might mean only that the teachers were unable to operate the computers, whereas The teachers were unable to utilize the new computers suggests that the teachers could not find ways to employ the computers in instruction.
And apparently, it can also mean "to convert (from an investment trust to a unit trust)".
     
turtle777
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Apr 15, 2005, 02:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
"Must.....control....fist....of....death!"

AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!

OK, I'm better now.

The issue I have with apostrophy usage is that this is SECOND FREAKIN' GRADE MATERIAL and supposed adults apparently cannot manage to get it right.
Haha, it's even worse in other languages that assimilated the 's from the English.

In German language, there are only very few case where 's is correct, and only if it's an abbreviation for "es" (it). Still, the 's for plural's (sic) is rampant.

see: http://www.deppenapostroph.de/

-t
     
deej5871
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Apr 15, 2005, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
..."Administrate" is NOT A WORD!!!! An administrator administers, whether it's an institution of learning or a network server. This is used (abused) by supposedly intelligent people who actually administer complex systems and who should know better.
Administrate is a word.

What is with everyone and thinking dictionary.com has entries that are not real words?
     
nonhuman
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Apr 15, 2005, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by deej5871
Administrate is a word.

What is with everyone and thinking dictionary.com has entries that are not real words?
What is it with everyone thinking there's such a thing as 'real' words anyway? There isn't even a real linguistic definition for what a word is (I actually took an entire class on trying to figure that out, results: inconclusive). If it can be used to accurately convey meaning to speakers of the same dialect, it's a valid word whether it's in the dictionary or not. Even if it has meaning only for you and no one else, it's still a word, just in a seperate/personal language.
     
lavar78
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Apr 15, 2005, 10:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
While I have had my own issues with "its" versus "it's" in the past (this being one of the situations where the basic apostrophy rule does not apply), that has usually been my typing fingers being faster than my thought process, which is no great feat.
The basic rules do apply in that situation. An apostrophe is used to make nouns possessive. Possessive pronouns (a.k.a. pronominal possessives) do not have/need apostrophes (yours, his, hers, its, ours, etc.).

"I'm virtually bursting with adequatulence!" - Bill McNeal, NewsRadio
     
 
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